Start something spicy

Online Course: How to Start a Hot Sauce Brand

Instructor: George Milton

Founder and CEO, Yellowbird Foods

George Milton and his cofounder Erin started Yellowbird Foods, one of the fastest-growing condiments companies in the country, in 2012.

From selling hot sauce at Austin farmer's markets to securing nationwide distribution, George is an entrepreneur and hot sauce enthusiast who converted his passion into a thriving enterprise.

Instructor: Cam Houser

Founder, Actionworks / Professor, The University of Texas at Austin

Cam is a serial entrepreneur and University of Texas professor best known for founding 3 Day Startup, an organization that scaled a rapid learning model to 15,000 entrepreneurs in 35 countries. His students have started thousands of companies, raised $180 million in funding, and achieved 11 exits.
Professor Cam Houser

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the course!

    • A message from the instructor

    • Before we begin...

  • 2

    Chapter 1: Origins

    • Yellowbird Foods: Introduction, early days

    • How important is food industry experience?

    • Takeaway: Industry experience is not required...but note how you can apply your skills to food products

  • 3

    Chapter 2: Starting Out

    • Thoughts about keeping your day job

    • Takeaway: Have patience

    • Knocking on doors, dealing with rejection

    • Exercise: Learn how to deal with rejection

  • 4

    Chapter 3: The Business of Food

    • Product quality—on its own—is not enough

    • Takeaway: The narrative will change over time

    • Do you need a business plan?

    • Takeaway: Thoughts on business plans

    • What not to do

  • 5

    Chapter 4: Distribution

    • Finding distribution

    • Internet distribution

    • Takeaway: Understand the value of marketing, outreach, and brand awareness

    • Resource: The Pitch Elements Canvas

  • 6

    Chapter 5: Start Now

    • Just Start

  • 7

    Chapter 6: Pricing

    • Pricing

    • Commentary: Pricing Strategy and Cost Structures

  • 8

    Chapter 7: Food Industry Mentors

    • Capturing a mentor's time and attention

    • How to identify and develop mentor relationships

  • 9

    Chapter 8: Scaling Operations

    • Scaling Challenges: Small business vs. the bigger players

  • 10

    Next steps

    • Additional resource

    • Before you go...

    • Final Thoughts: There is no single path to success

    • Congrats! You finished the course!

Watch Intro Video

Course Introduction

Special guest: Beppo the cat